Scottish Rowing star Karen Bennett will be the next official ambassador for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, organisers announced today (MON).
The multi-sports event is the biggest sporting event to be staged in Scotland since the Commonwealth Games and is expected to garner a worldwide television audience of 1billion during August.
As part of the world-first event, the European Rowing Championships will see around 600 of the continent’s best rowers compete over 18 different medal events at Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire.
A former European champion and 2016 Olympic silver medallist in the women’s eight, Karen, from Edinburgh, is backing the FISA 2018 European Rowing Championships’ role within the new multi-sport event format.
Bennett, who took up the sport aged 18, said: “It’s excellent that this world first, the European Championships, will combine Athletics in Berlin with Aquatics, Cycling, Golf, Gymnastics, Rowing and Triathlon in Glasgow to create one amazing event this August. I’m immensely proud to be named as the Rowing ambassador for Glasgow 2018.”
The 29-year-old said: “The European Rowing Championships has a rich history and the crowds in Glasgow and Scotland have a long-standing reputation for being fantastic. I have no doubt that the competition and atmosphere at year’s Rowing event at Strathclyde Park will be thrilling for athletes, spectators, and rowing fans.”
British Rowing CEO Andy Parkinson said: “I’m delighted to see Karen named as rowing’s ambassador for Glasgow 2018. Karen is part of a large cohort of Scottish rowers on the GB Rowing Team, and everyone on the team is looking forward to the opportunity to compete on home water this August. Glasgow 2018 plays a key part in the GB Rowing Team’s preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and we can’t wait to hear the roar of a home crowd at Strathclyde Country Park.”
Glasgow 2018 will see world-class rowing return to the venue that hosted the 1996 World Rowing Championships and is the first opportunity for British fans to see the GB Rowing Team in action on home water since 2013.
Sports Minister Aileen Campbell said: “Karen will be a fantastic ambassador for Glasgow 2018 and her dedication to her sport is an example of what can be achieved. It is great to see Strathclyde Country Park staging this event, making the most of the excellent facilities. The rowing events will be something to look forward to as part of a thrilling summer of sport for young people and fans from across Scotland and beyond.”
Councillor Michael McPake, convener of infrastructure at North Lanarkshire Council, said: “We’re delighted to host the European Rowing Championships and welcome visitors from across Europe to what will be a memorable and exciting event for the whole of North Lanarkshire. As the only FISA A-Grade standard rowing course in Scotland, Strathclyde Country Park is a world-class watersports venue and Karen is a fantastic ambassador for excellence in the sport of rowing.”
Glasgow 2018 will see world-class rowing return to the venue that hosted the 1996 World Rowing Championships and is the first opportunity for Scottish fans to see the GB Rowing Team in action on home water since 2013.
Athletes will race in one of two types of boats – a sculling or a sweeping boat – and a range of sizes, from a single scull (one athlete), double sculls or pairs (two athletes), to quadruple sculls or fours (four athletes), up to eights (eight rowers with a cox).
To be staged every four years, the European Championships will combine the existing European Championships of Athletics, Aquatics, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rowing and Triathlon. The first edition will be held in 2018 in a unique sporting partnership between Host Cities Glasgow and Berlin.
In her role as Rowing ambassador, Karen joins Glasgow 2018 Swimming ambassador Ross Murdoch, Gymnastics ambassador Max Whitlock and Golf ambassadors Carly Booth and Paul Lawrie.
Tickets are on sale now for the European Rowing Championships, with adults starting from £20 and under 16s and over 60s from £10.